(Corrects sixth paragraph to say SK Hynix shares hit their highest in over 16 years, not all-time high)
* Samsung Elec up 4.3 percent ahead of Q3 guidance on Friday
* SK Hynix up as much as 8.6 pct
SEOUL, Oct 10 (Reuters) - South Korean tech shares led by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd soared early on Tuesday, catching up with gains made by global stock markets after a break of more than a week, and as strength in chip prices bolstered investor hopes for earnings.
“Global stock markets marked strong gains while Seoul markets were off for a long holiday break, and the price of semiconductors continued to rally,” said Lee Seung-woo, a stock analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.
Shares in Samsung jumped 4.3 percent, with expectations high that the world’s top memory chipmaker will flag record profit when it announces its earnings estimates for July-September quarter on Friday.
The tech giant is expected to report 14.3 trillion won ($12.6 billion) in third-quarter operating profit, up from a record 14.1 trillion won it posted in the previous quarter, according to the average of 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“Their fourth-quarter earnings are highly likely to be even better, meaning that the shares will continue their upward trend,” Lee said.
Shares in smaller rival SK Hynix Inc jumped as much as much as 8.6 percent to their highest in more than 16 years at 90,000 won, while battery maker Samsung SDI gained 8.1 percent.
Gains in tech shares helped the Seoul’s main stock index rise 1.9 percent. ($1 = 1,139.0400 won) (Reporting by Dahee Kim and Joyce Lee; Editing by Sam Holmes and Edwina Gibbs)